Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Installing Windows 7 on a USB drive


16 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Installing Windows 7 on a USB drive

I've tried searching for some help with this, but I've found nothing. If possible, I'd like to install Windows 7 onto a 128Gb USB drive and boot from it. All I've found on the issue are guides on how to have the Windows 7 installer itself on a USB drive, not having the actual operating system stored on the drive. Any help would be appreciated!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Nov 2013   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I am running Windows 8 and several Linux from an external SSD. That is also possible with Windows 7. The performance is nearly the same as from an internal SSD - maybe faster than from an internal HDD.

Portable OS - Carry your OS on an External Drive

See Demo: VMware Player - a Windows 8 Demo

And here is a 60GB SSD for $39.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...20227961-L012B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

How is this achieved with Windows 7, Wolfgang? I've not seen it documented anywhere.There are been claims made for years here of installing Windows 7 on USB or external but never anything to show how or document it, just hearsay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Nov 2013   #4

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
Three methods for running Windows from external devices.

1) If you have access to Windows 8.1 or 8 ENTERPRISE you can create a FULLY FUNCTIONING Windows system (Windows to Go) on an external device that will boot and run totally independently of any HDD in the Host system (although it can access any internal and network HDD's). You can download a 90 day evaluation of W8.1 enterprise from the Ms site (FREE). You don't need to use "Certified" devices for creating your Windows to Go system - it can be done manually.

Creating a Non-Certified Windows To Go USB Drive » ADMIN Magazine

2) For windows 7 unfortunately you will need the "C" drive in the host machine to start the boot process - but THEN you can attach and mount a Windows 7 VHD from an external device.

Windows 7: Auto-Mount VHDs at Startup | martin w. angler


Play around with these two options should give you some more info - but if you are looking for a fully "Windows 7 to Go" then you are out of luck.

3) If you use an SSD and a USB3 / e-sata external connection you can get adequate response by installing a SMALL Linux system on your device - these boot and run easily from external drives, and then start VMPLAYER on it to load a Windows 7 virtual machine. Runs fast enough provided you use a USB3 device or better an SSD.

@WHS - if you've got a way of BOOTING and running Windows 7 DIRECTLY from an external device please post how you did it. Either using a VHD - in which case you still need the "C" drive initially or running Linux and then starting a Virtual machine seem to be the only way to get this to work as far as I can tell. Windows 8 and 8.1 is another story of course.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
How is this achieved with Windows 7, Wolfgang? I've not seen it documented anywhere.There are been claims made for years here of installing Windows 7 on USB or external but never anything to show how or document it, just hearsay.
Greg, you just install Windows 7 under VMware Player. That puts the Virtual Machines folder into Documents. From there you copy or move the folder to the external device.

Then you have to start the VMware Player and 'Open a Virtual Machine'. You point to the VMX file on the external device (which is in the virtual machines folder) and off you go.

I agree with you that a USB stick is not a good device for that. I have tried it on a $60 very fast USB3 stick but it still ran like molasses. An external HDD is acceptable in terms of performance. But the best is an external SSD which performs better than an internal HDD. And with SSD deals @ $39 for a 60GB SSD, that is an affordable option - cheaper than a high speed USB3 stick.

With the external SSD, I also noticed very little difference between USB2 or USB 3. Unfortunately eSata is not supported by VMware Player.

Here is a little tutorial I once made for installing one of the Linux distros in VMware Player. The first part of this tutorial would be exactly the same for installing Windows 7 - you just chose Windows in lieu of Ubuntu when it comes to selecting the guest operating system.

VMware Player - Install and Setup Zorin

Here is a pretty good video tutorial by sombody else that is worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_m1wa47ZOI

Btw: If you do not have Windows on your system to host VMware Player, you can install Mint or Ubuntu and run VMware Player from there.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VMware/Player
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2013   #6

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
I think you missed the original point of the post -- was the OP wanted to BOOT and RUN a Windows system from an EXTERNAL device -- that means for example the "C" drive on the Host machine could be either defective or even NOT CONNECTED.

If you need to start VMware from a WINDOWS HOST OS that means you aren't actually BOOTING from the external device.

The only way (and I'm discounting "WINPE" type of solutions as those aren't "True Windows systems" and in any case still don't work completely for Windows 7 - XP is fine though) is to either use a WINDOWS TO GO (windows 8 / 8.1) or A LINUX system and then start Windows 7 as a VM. - This solution on an SSD isn't actually too bad -- especially if the SSD is connected via a USB3 port via anUSB ==> eSATA adapter.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Installing Windows 7 on a USB drive




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Installing Windows 7 on a USB drive
Thread Forum
Hard drive appears wiped after installing Windows 7 to another drive Hardware & Devices
Solved Installing Windows 7 Without A CD Drive Installation & Setup
Help installing windows 7 from a USB Drive! :( General Discussion
Solved VHD Drive Installing Windows 8 Virtualization
Solved Does installing Windows from usb pen drive damage the drive? Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:14 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33